Continuing the discussion from The Italian Inquirer:
It’s great that @Taffy-on-Tour has started this thread #theitalianinquirer and to read some great recommendations and comments. I totally agree with @MikeFranklin on the quality of cheaper approachable wines. @Aspedini makes the excellent case for more diversity on the WS list whilst commenting “I found some wines I liked and then bought the hell out of those producers”. I’m guilty of the same and suspect huge diversity set against a loose classification system may impact on some consumers willingness to experiment/spend. Also @suiko… no such thing as a “representative Italian wine”. This is so true, including wines from areas in close proximity but are distinct ‘brands’, and even within micro-regions. @Sarah and the WS have a difficult (but delightful) task of sifting through an astonishingly diverse range of great Italian wines - just think of the onerous burden of visiting all those regions and tasting all of that wine (with food of course)… could take decades of intense exploration!
I’m just back from 2 weeks in Italy (following a hasty exit in mid-March) and it was wonderful to see how Italy has successfully rebounded from its covid nightmare. I was reminded of the diversity and quality of wines available at all price points (and the pure joy that is Italy).
I have a particular soft spot for Cortona DOC which is a case in point - a small region in SE Tuscany/bordering Umbria. Fantastic range of great wines and different styles at very reasonable prices. Better known close neighbours include Montepulciano, Montalcino (Brunello), Chianti, Bolgheri etc. Aside from producing lovely quintessential ‘traditional’ Italian reds & whites, Cortona DOCs usp is that it has excelled in developing excellent syrahs and lovely voigners. Not that these grapes (also pinot noir/nero) aren’t successful elsewhere in Italy but Cortona has developed a reputation for doing them particularly well, in large part due to the Cortona winemaking family d’Alessandro’s fascination with syrah/northern Rhone since the late '80s. There are loads more successful, wonderful niche producers and styles nowadays. Choice/quality/price is in this beautiful area is exceptional (imho).
In any case, it’s great to have the opportunity to share the love with other Italian wine fans. Keep the comments and info exchange going. Salute!